Outreach: GFF engages Kwakwani community in football development agenda
• Residents appoint committee to re-ignite flame of football with youth centre stage • GFF pledges support for football development, coach and referee training • Forde-led delegation hands over football equipment to the mining community
Guyana Football Federation (GFF) President Wayne Forde led a high-level delegation of administrators and technical experts on a historic visit to the mining town of Kwakwani last weekend to discuss the revival and development of football, deliver football equipment and pledge support for coach and referee education.
The visit to the community, nestled on the Berbice River in the Upper Demerara-Berbice Region, was initiated by veteran coach Jimmy McLean and focused on engaging with residents and football stakeholders to find ways to breathe new life into football in the area, home to former Golden Jaguars midfielder Carey Harris and national girls’ Under-15 forward Jalade Trim.
Forde was accompanied by Upper Demerara Football Association (UDFA) President Terrance Mitchell, GFF Director of Coaching Wilson Toledo, GFF Youth Development Officer Brian ‘Joe Boy’ Joseph, GFF Referees Technical Instructor/Assessor Abdullah ‘Zico’ Hamid and GFF Social Media Officer, Keeran Williams.
McLean, whose achievements over the years in and out of Guyana are well documented in terms of developing players and teams, has been the driving force behind the resuscitation of the game in Kwakwani and reached out to Forde and the GFF to render assistance.
“We’ve recognised over the years that Kwakwani has not really occupied the headlines for being a vibrant sporting community and particular in the game of football. We all know that this community has produced many outstanding players over the years, Carey Harris being one such player,” Forde said.
“One of our most developed young women is from this community and has been training in this community for the past couple of years – young Jalade Trim. So we made the trip to bring support to the football development programme in Kwakwani as well as listen and learn what may have contributed to this community moving from being one of the most vibrant sporting communities within the country to one that do not seem to be producing the better athletes within the various disciplines.”
Forde informed that the conversation with community leaders and elders bore much fruit as they were able to point out the challenges that they had faced over the years and indicate how they believe they can move the game forward with a focus on youth football.
Community members also took the opportunity to commend Forde and the GFF for the historic visit and commitment to work along with them in mapping the way forward.
President Forde committed the GFF’s resources to bring back the game to what it used to be and then to drive it forward. For this to be achieved, he said, there had to be a consorted effort on the part of the community to work with the Federation.
“You have a partner in the Guyana Football Federation, but it will not work unless the community steps forward and really help us. The young people of this community deserve the leadership and the guidance of the adults,” he said.
Football development materials were presented to the community and accepted by McLean. The Federation has committed to the training of coaches and referees once the appropriate individuals have been identified.
Community members also made a big step forward as they identified a number of individuals who will serve on an ad hoc committee to make reality the commitment